If you enjoyed Octopath Traveler, then you have Live A Live to thank. The cult-classic SNES RPG features eight different heroes, each of whom has their own story. Those are told across eight different time periods too, so if you’re curious about each one, read one for some spoiler-free synopses. While we’re listing them chronologically here (with one exception), it’s important to note that you can play any of the initial time periods at any time — the order is up to you.
The earliest time period in Live A Live goes all the way back to the prehistoric days. This actually takes place so long ago that characters don’t have dialogue — they simply gesture and display emoticons over their heads during cutscenes. Prehistory puts you in control of Pogo, a caveman who was exiled from his tribe.
The second-earliest setting in Live A Live is Imperial China, and it features the oldest protagonist. You play as a sifu, an old kung fu master looking to pass down his knowledge to a select student. Doing so involves teaching your followers while dealing with a rival martial arts school.
Twilight of Edo Japan
Moving forward in time (and a bit farther east), the next era is the twilight of Edo Japan. This is nearing the end of the time when Japan was under the rule of a shogunate with many regional daimyo. A ninja by the name of Oboromaru is sent to rescue an important figure who was kidnapped by one of those daimyo.
The next time period, the Wild West, is set quite a while later. It’s also a more unique biome compared to many of the others, with a focus on frontier towns and sandy terrain. The Wild West puts you in the shoes of The Sundown Kid, a desperado who wants to save a small town from the Mad Dog gang.
Calling this period the “Present Day” is interesting since that term varies depending on when you’re playing it — Live A Live originally released in 1994, after all. In any case, it’s set in a city that resembles those of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Fighter Masaru Takahara wants to be the strongest in the world.
Similarly, the “Near Future” that people pictured in 1994 isn’t quite the present day of 2022. You can think of this like a dystopian cyberpunk setting — the kind you’d see in anime classics like Akira. In fact, that’s the name of the hero in this chapter, and there are plenty of similar motorcycles in his story.
The latest era on the Live A Live timeline is the Far Future, which is essentially a sci-fi setting. Appropriately, it’s set on a spaceship far away from our planet Earth. It also features the only non-human hero in the game: a rollerskating, baseball-shaped robot named Cube.
Middle Ages & Chapter 9
We’ll keep this one brief and forego any screenshots for sake of spoilers. After clearing the first seven chapters, you’ll unlock an eighth one set in the Middle Ages. This chapter, along with the final one, feature a knight named Oersted. He journeys through a castle in the fictional kingdom of Lucrece.